Service Dogs for People Who Are Deaf or Have Hearing Loss
Hearing dogs are specially trained canine assistants who help people who are deaf or have hearing loss. Hearing dogs can alert their partners to sounds around the home and in public.
How can a Hearing Dog help someone who is deaf or hearing impaired?
Here are some of the sounds a hearing dog can alert their partner to, as demonstrated in the video:
- A door knock
- Smoke detector alarm
- Alarm clock ringing
- Tea kettle whistling
- Telephone or cell phone ringing
- Keys dropping
- Traffic approaching
- The name of the dog's handler to alert the person when he or she is being spoken to
- General sound awareness
Hearing Dogs are especially sensitive to noises, and a Deaf partner can learn a lot about his or her environment just by watching the dog’s visual cues. A dog may notice when someone approaches from behind and tries to get the attention of his or her handler. A Hearing Dog, along with his or her "Hearing Dog" vest, is often the first indicator to the public that the Deaf individual may need to be spoken to face-to-face or in another manner.
Hearing Dogs communicate with their Deaf partners by making physical contact with them and then leading them to the location of the sound. Small dogs will jump up on a person's leg or lap to alert their partner, while large dogs will seek out a person's hand with their nose to make contact.
Our Hearing Dogs are both mixed breeds from shelters or rescue groups, and puppies from our puppy program who are better suited to a career as a Hearing Dog. Our Hearing Dog program is available to anyone ages 15 and older.